A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids can learn about skateboarding in this semi-realistic depiction of the popular extreme sport. Players will learn the names of a wide variety of tricks, from grinds to plants to ollies to flips, as well as the names of several stars of the sport -- Tony Hawk, Chris Cole, Lyn-z Adams Hawkins, and Riley Hawk -- and their signature moves. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD has no tutorial, but those who stick with it will glean the rudiments of the sport of skateboarding.
This game celebrates the sport of skateboarding, depicting it as a fun and exciting pastime. Parents should note, though, that it may inadvertently encourage young skaters to try dangerous tricks best left to the pros. The lack of any real consequences in the game's wipe-outs might create the impression that kids wouldn’t get seriously injured if they tried doing what they see in the game.
Positive Role Models
The game's characters -- real-life skateboarding professionals -- serve as models of how practice and perseverance can pay off, especially in the world of sport. However, they do perform some tricks -- jumping between buildings and over moving vehicles -- that kids shouldn't aspire to emulate.
Ease of Play
The game drops players into the action without any sort of tutorial, and it could take rookies a while to find their way. However, much like real skateboarding, this game is about exploration and experimentation, and learning is part of the experience. There are rewards for performing well, but no punishment for wiping out, which encourages players who fall to get back up and keep trying.
Violence & Scariness
The player's skater can wipe out on hard concrete and metal surfaces and get hit by cars. When he or she falls, a small amount of red blood is sometimes seen flying through the air. None of the characters are every seriously hurt, though. They always get back up on their boards and continue skating.
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Products & Purchases
Various brands, mostly to do with skateboarding, appear within the game, including Birdhouse, Quicksilver, Hawk, and Nixon.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD is a high-definition remake of one of the most popular skateboarding games ever made. A downloadable game found in the XBLA or PSN, it celebrates the sport of skateboarding. Kids assume the identities of characters who are based on respected, real-world athletes -- including Tony Hawk. These pros demonstrate what skilled skaters can do. Be aware, though, that the game's depiction of wipe-outs is unrealistic. Crashes that would seriously injure an athlete in the real world are merely shaken off by the game's characters, who never suffer more than minor scrapes and shed a few drops of blood. Parents should also know that this game's online mode supports open voice communication.
Is It Any Good?
This is a throwback to what some might call a purer kind of skateboarding game, the kind in which players simply skated about looking for ever more unlikely objects on which to pull off ever crazier tricks. Some may find it old-fashioned compared to modern and often much wilder, objective-driven skating games, but others will find its simplicity to be a charming and refreshing change of pace.
As in the original Tony Hawk games, the controls are wonderfully tight and responsive, rewarding players who take the time to learn and master all available moves. Slowly unlocking one environment at a time gives players time to appreciate the hidden nuances in each level. And the game's soundtrack -- heavy on old and new punk and hip-hop -- provides a perfect background to the experience. Its simpler, old-school vibe may not be to all gamers' tastes, but skaters looking for a faithful-in-spirit representation of their sport won't be disappointed.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.